** check out http://janetingley.tumblr.com/ for progress on anyWare**
‘anyWare’ is a distributed sculpture that includes three identical objects that can be located in three different locations, anywhere in the world. The ‘anyWare’ sculptures are connected to the Internet, and physically mirror each other (i.e. if a blue light lights up on one sculpture, that same blue will light up on all of the sculptures). The objects simultaneously respond to people who interact with them, and enable people in different locations to interact with each other through the objects. So, for example, if someone walks into the gallery in Montréal and begins to interact with ‘anyWare’ by turning off lights on the touch panels, someone in Toronto can see the results of those interactions on the identical Toronto sculpture. At this point, the person in Toronto is able to join the person in Montréal, and help them turn off the lights on the touch panel, resulting in a collaborative and playful telematic experience reinforced through light and sound. Each physical location is assigned a signature colour which makes it possible to identify which location is actively engaging with which sculpture. ‘anyWare’ uses a series of simple games to structure these interactions, which allows people in different locations to work together and collaborate on a joint goal.
The objects encourage playful interactions that are designed to inspire experimentation, exploration, and potential “conversations” with other interactors. As a reward for this interaction, the light, sound, and engagement states of the objects transform through the experience of exploration (either with one person or potentially with many people) and in so doing reveal different modes of interactivity as well as different levels of aesthetic experience, which we are calling Art States. These states include a ‘Minimal State’, a ‘Shadow State’, and a ‘Colour State’. Interactors must play/interact with the sculptures in order to transition them through the various Art States.